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When Daniel Serwer is asked what he does, he often replies, “I make peace. I put it in cans and ship it abroad.” That pursuit of peace took him to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, and many places in between during Serwer’s forty years in public service.
His experiences at the sharp end of foreign policy have shaped his view of the United States’ ability to protect itself from today’s threats. In Righting the Balance, Serwer focuses on what should be done to protect the United States by offering alternatives that move away from an exclusive reliance on the military. Most fundamentally, Serwer stresses that civilians—diplomats, aid workers, UN officials, humanitarians, police trainers, lawyers, judges, entrepreneurs—can and should be involved in helping bring about peace.
Righting the Balance offers a proposal to reform our civilian institutions for the twenty-first century so that they can help deliver real results in the search for peace even when confronting difficult conditions in faraway places.
DANIEL SERWER is a senior research professor in conflict management at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a scholar at the Middle East Institute. Previously he served as a minister-counselor at the U.S. Department of State. His ideas have been published in the Washington Post, New York Times, Atlantic, Foreign Policy, and many other periodicals. He lives in Washington DC.